Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Craziness

These are a few of the pictures I took on Christmas. As you can tell I definitely need help in the photography department. Maybe someday I will read my camera manual;)

As I have ZERO attention span today, I am not including any photo narration, or a long dialogue (phew!).


I hope everyone had a truly blessed Christmas.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pizza and a Future Project

Last night we had pizza for dinner. I thought I would try and be all Pioneer Womanesque and give you a little tutorial. BTW, my hubby and kiddos would so rather eat homemade pizza than delivery:)

First, I mix up the sauce (yes, I even make my own sauce).

- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- 6oz lukewarm water (or 1 6oz tomato paste can filled with lukewarm water)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder

These measurements are just an approximation, as I am one of those annoying people who just dump things in until they look/taste right.

Once you have everything in a bowl, whisk it up and let it set out for about an hour, or until the flavors have time to mesh.

Now the fun (not so fun) part! The crust.

I use Jay's Signature Pizza Crust recipe from allrecipes.com (I tried to post the link, but was unable due to a SLOW computer).

First I proof (let the yeast set in very warm water for 10 minutes with a little sugar) the yeast in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It will look bubbly, which means that the yeast is active.

Next, I add the flour. I like to add 3 cups, then attach the dough hook to my mixer and start er up.

After about a minute it will mix up into a sticky mess. I slowly add more flour at this point.

Add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, and is not sticking any longer. Like in the above picture.

At this point I continue to let the mixer knead the dough for about 3 or 4 more minutes, adding a tiny bit more flour if the dough still wants to stick.

The next step is to grease a medium size bowl with olive oil. I like to use A LOT, or else the dough sticks the bowl. Transfer the dough from the mixer bowl to the greased bowl, and flip it over a few times to make sure the whole ball of dough is covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or a loose piece of plastc wrap, and set it in a warm place to rise. (I turn my oven on and set it on top of the stove.)

After about an hour, the dough will be doubled in size.

Punch it down and form it into a tight ball.

Now, grease your pizza pan (I use a sheet cake pan) with olive oil.

Place dough on the pan.

Spread the dough evenly over the entire surface. This part really stinks, because the dough is elastic and sticky, and wants to pull away from the edge, so be patient.

This will result in a thick, soft crust!

I return the pan to the top of the stove and let it set for another twenty minutes(uncovered).

At this point you may want to crank the oven up to 425 degrees, which is what it will need to bake at.

Meanwhile, I chop my veggies and fry up my sausage.

After the dough has risen a tad more on the pan, spread the sauce onto the crust, top with a pound of mozzarella, and add whatever toppings you desire.

Pop that yummy sucker into the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until nice and golden and bubbly.


Delicious homemade pizza! Free of preservatives (if you use organic pepperoni and sausage), lower in saturated fats and much tastier than delivery.

Now...A sneek peek at an upcoming project.

My husband scored this bedside table from a customer who wanted it thrown away. Can you believe it?!!! It is made of SOLID wood (at least the back and sides of the drawers) and is very sturdy. I think a certain little girl will love it in her bedroom. But first it needs a little TLC (perhaps a new coat of paint...spring green, or maybe lavender?). You'll have to wait and see.


Friday, December 17, 2010


Yesterday afternoon my son got off the bus and came running through the door, stripping off his coat and snowpants, dropping his backpack right smack in the middle of the mudroom floor (to be tripped over by the next sorry soul to come through the door), wanting to know "What's for dinner?"

I answered, "Meatloaf."

The look of horror on that child's face was priceless. "Meatloaf is bisgusting," he whined. (and no that is not a typo, he said "bisgusting")

I replied, "Oh well. That's what I'm making, so that's what you're eating."

But, after the words left my mouth, I remembered something. I remembered being nine, and thinking meatloaf was indeed "bisgusting". I also remembered thinking that when I grew up and had my own kids, I would never make them eat meatloaf. What is it about meatloaf anyway? Kids hate it! You even say the word "meatloaf" around a kid between the ages of 2 and 20, and it elicits dirty looks and gagging noises.

So, as I continued making dinner, which consisted of another chilhood fave, the dreaded PEAS, I started thinking about everything I used to say I would and would not do when I grew up.

Like, I used to say that I was going to leave the "awful" town I am from, and move to California, Malibu, to be precise, and write soap operas. Don't ask me why I thought soap opera writers lived in Malibu.

I was also going to marry a doctor, not a carpenter like my dad (whom I love dearly and provided well for us while we were growing up).

I was never going to be a stay at home mom! I hated to cook or bake, or anything domestic.

And finally I was never going to dress my kids in clothes from Kmart!!

Well guess what...

I live the next town over from my hometown. My husband is a carpenter. For three years I stayed home with my son, before going back to work VERY part-time (at my dad's construction company, where my handsome hubby works). I LOVE to bake and cook, and prefer it to almost anything. And my kids have clothes from, shhhh....Kmart.

And I wouldn't trade any of it for a life in Malibu with a doctor husband.

I got all of that from a meatloaf.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day!

Yesterday school was cancelled all over the frozen, snowy north. This is wonderful if you are a nine-year-old little boy. Not so wonderful if you are the mom of said nine-year-old (who also has a crazy three-year-old). I couldn't even kick them outside to play. The wind chill was crazy cold and we had drifts that were four feet in spots. Plus, who wants to mess with all that snow gear? Inevitably you get them bundled, then two minutes later, guess who has to pee?

So anyway...

What do you do when you're stuck in a tiny little house with two rambunctious children and naughty puppy? Whatever you can to stay sane!!!

They said they wanted smoothies, but guess who ended up drinking them? It was okay, because they were tasty (frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate juice, a banana, and some organic vanilla yogurt).

It was tuna salad for lunch. I know, I know, you're thinking "curry powder"? But don't knock 'til you've tried it.

Then we (the little girl and I) made these bite-sized coffee cookies. And NO, I wasn't thinking. The little buggers ate a ton of them and were totally OOC for the rest of the afternoon. Sugar and caffeine? I need my head examined!

She would not let me brush her hair the entire day. I gave up trying after a while.

To top the day off, I made enchiladas for dinner...

...and hot cocoa for dessert! Apparently I hadn't learned from my earlier sugar-related ordeal.

This is what I looked like at the end of it all. I wouldn't normally post such a tragic looking picture of myself, but I'm just keeping it real (Did I brush my own hair that morning...?).


Friday, December 10, 2010

Birthday Party? Why Didn't I Get an Invite?

So....Today I was going to do a post on the one of the many outrageous things my daughter does. And I was going to include pictures, but I find that my camera is out of battery juice.

Here is why...

Thursday morning, around ten, I realized that I hadn't heard a peep out of the little girl for about a half hour (I'm not a bad mom, just needed to mop my kitchen floor and really got into it (yeah right!)), so I wandered down the hall for a looksie. She was in her bedroom, wearing the same garb as she was in my last post, except I think she was rocking her yellow heals this time, taking pictures of her doll. The doll was propped up on several pillows with a partialy deflated balloon (left over from great-grandmas birthday bash) beside her, wearing a "party hat" (a.k.a. play construction cone). I, freaking out because the last time she "borrowed" my camera it took several days and one frustrated husband to find, asked, "What are you doing with my camera?"

She looked at me and said "Taking pictures of Baby's first birthday, and I didn't invite you," with her nose all squished in complete toddler defiance. Then, because she is a total stinker, she pointed the camera at me and took another picture.

I grabbed the camera from her and discoverd that she had taken 59 pitures!!! The worst part was, at least ten of them were of me mopping the kitchen floor. I hadn't even noticed!

Then, because she has no shame, she says, "Baby wants a strawberry birthday cake with pink frosting." Like I was going to just go into the kitchen a whip one up for "Baby".

Now, as I sit at work (bored to tears), I find that my camera battery is dead. And I have no pictures for you all to see. Sorry. Blame it on a little girl with an enormous attitude.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random Pictures

I am trying to figure out how to post my pictures...Bear with me!!

My son and daughter at the beach this past Labor Day.

My daughter in her adorable crocheted hat (ordered from the Dainty Daisy's Etsy shop).

My son at the beach.

My daughter invading her brother's room with her toys and her quirky sense of style.


Now that you have seen such random cuteness...

May your day be filled with lots of these!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

This Is Me

I finally decided to start my first (really second) post. After months of reading hundreds of other blogs, which BTW I am ADDICTED to, I am taking the leap. I still can't get my pictures to post properly, so I don't have any pictures posted yet (partially a lie...I HATE the way I look in pictures, so I haven't been trying very hard).

Here goes...

I am a thirty-something wife, mom and part-time executive assistant (fancy words for secretary) at my family's construction company. I have been married to the love of my life since I was twenty, which most people think is way too young, but I'm the when-I-love-I-love-with-all-my-heart-forever-type.

We have two gorgeous babies.

Our son is nine. He was born with DiGeorge Syndrome (22q11.2 deletion), which means that he is missing a small piece of his 22nd chromosome. Although almost nobody has heard of DiGeorge, it is the second most common genetic mutation, with Down's Syndrome being the most common. The little bugger is also autistic (likely a caused by the DiGeorge), and has probable ADHD (we are waiting to have expensive testing done to confirm this), and is starting to display some mild ticks and twitches. I'm really not "unloading" all of this, or needing a pity-party. I just want to be straight-up. He is the most wonderful, imaginitive (hard to believe with the autism), funny boy. He loves to fish, hunt, tell jokes and watch Thomas the Tank movies. There is just something about that Thomas the Tank that mesmerizes a lot of autistic children. We do struggle with all of this on a daily basis, but I could NOT imagine my life without him exactly the way he is.

We also have another child....a girl. She's three. Need I say more? I wanted a girl. Prayed for a girl. And oh boy did I get a GIRL! She is bossy, sassy, stubborn, mischevious, and pretty darn cute. She loves anything girly. Her faves are Pinkalicious, Disney Princesses, Dora, Angelina Ballerina, baking with mommy, tutus (she wears one everywhere!!), and walking around the house in the most treacherous plastic high heeled dress shoes I have ever seen. She is extremely smart (I'm not just saying this because I'm her mom), and is SO ready to start school. But I can't bear to part with her yet.

I went to college for three years, but have no degree. I've changed my mind so many times (nursing, business administration, English) that I've stopped taking classes until I can decide what I want to be when I grow up. It is a tie between romance novelist and bakery owner. Some other little tidbits:

I talk way too much.
I love to bake (it relaxes me).
I am super sensitive (cry like a baby over nothing).
I am a practicing Catholic!!
I love 70's soft rock music.
I hate driving in the winter (causes major panic/anxiety attacks!!).
I love to create characters and stories in my mind, but rarely have time or attention span to write them down.

I guess that's all for now. I hope I haven't bored anyone (if anyone even reads this). I promise that I will try harder to get some pictures up. At least of my kids.

Oh yeah...

What would you guys most like to hear about? Baking, my struggles with raising a special needs child, my day-to-day garbage? Let me know.


Exploring the Upper Peninsula...and a Few Yummies

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